Chicago Bulls vs. Dallas Mavericks: Bobby Portis flexes once again

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 02: Bobby Portis
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 02: Bobby Portis /

The Chicago Bulls hosted the Dallas Mavericks in a battle of tanking teams on Friday night. Who stepped up the lead the Bulls to a win?

The Chicago Bulls snapped their five-game losing streak on Friday night with a 108-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks. This is a bad win for the tank, but it’s also nice and enjoyable to see some of the Bulls’ young players playing well and continuing to play hard despite being down almost all game.

But really… this game seriously hurts the tank. The Bulls were finally making up some ground, slowly digging their way out of the eighth spot in the reverse standings.

Now, they have to rattle off a serious losing streak in order to end up anywhere near the top five. But enough about the tank, and enough depressing stuff. After all, we should, as fans, be happy after the Bulls win.

Bobby Portis finished with 22 points and 5 rebounds off of the bench for the Bulls on Friday night to take home the player of the game honors. After trailing for the entire game, it was Portis who scored on three straight possessions to take the score from a 96-94 deficit to a 100-96 lead. A lead the Bulls would never look back on.

I’m guilty of writing off Portis as an actual member of the Bulls’ core. He is a bit of a dying breed: a big man who doesn’t score super efficiently and can’t protect the rim. With that being said, he just scores in such a myriad of ways that he still could have a niche in the NBA. He posts up, faces up, runs the floor, you name it (one thing he does not do well: run the pick and roll).

It was easy to chalk up his scoring to playing against inferior, bench-quality big men. Portis is proving that theory wrong as each game passes; he’s now averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds per game on 50 percent from the floor and 50 (!) percent from deep since the All-Star break. His playing time has gone up, as has his production.

Portis still has his deficiencies. Like mentioned earlier, he can’t protect the rim, which means he can’t really stay on the floor at the 5. He doesn’t seem too interested in playing defense, period, which hurts his ability to be a 4. He doesn’t always score super efficiently; he gets to the free throw line two times per game, stemming from his love for his jump shot.

I’ve often thought his ceiling was a big man who could add some scoring punch off of the bench. It still may be. But here’s a blind player comparison for fun:

Per 100 Poss Table

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2018.

Player A is a bit more of a playmaker, while Player B is a better rebounder. They both score at about the same rate and efficiency.  Player A is Blake Griffin. Player B is Bobby Portis.

I don’t know what to make, or what to do, with this information. This comparison is, honestly, ludicrous. However, I don’t think it’s so ludicrous that it doesn’t warrant a discussion.

think it means that Bobby Portis could be for real. His net rating, rebounding, shooting, and scoring has all been tremendous this season. And by for real, I mean that he maybe is actually a good player in the NBA. Maybe I need to start taking him more seriously.

Next: Bulls make a late surge to beat Mavericks at home

We’re going to get a really good idea of what Portis’ future could hold as it was announced after the game that Portis would start next to Lauri Markkanen in the frontcourt for the next few games. Which should result in some fun, high-scoring, no-defense games. Buckle up!